United States Obituaries
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Online Resources[edit | edit source]
- 1800s-Current U.S., Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current at Ancestry - index ($)
- 1815-2011: United States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815-2011 at FamilySearch, index; How to Use this Collection
- 1899-2012 United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection. Also at Ancestry - index and images ($)
- 1900-2019 - United States and Canada, Index of Obituaries, 1900–2019 at MyHeritage ($), index
- 1930-2017: U.S., Obituary Collection, 1930-2017 at Ancestry - index ($)
- 1980-2014 United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
- 2001-2014 Currentobituary.com index, 2001-2014 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
- America's Obituaries and Death Notices by Newsbank - ($), must have a subscription, offered for free at most Public libraries
- Legacy.com is a free website containing thousands of obituaries.
- GenealogyBank - ($), searchable images of historic newspapers.
- Obituary Daily Times at Rootsweb - searchable index.
- Chronicling America, Historic American Newspapers at The Library of Congress
- USGenWeb Project - may contain obituary transcriptions or indexes
- USGenWeb Archives Project. - may contain some obituary transcriptions by location.
- GenDisasters contains newspaper articles about train wrecks, tornadoes, fires, accidents and other explosions. Often these articles contain detailed death information.
- Mennonite Obituary Index - index of many Mennonite obituaries.
- Genealogy Buff - Library - Genealogy Data Files
- ObitsArchives is a large collection of Newspaper obituaries in the United States. Can search by all sources or by location.
- List of Surnames in the All-Year Obituary Indexes for Various Primitive Baptist Church Periodicals
- Obit City
Overview[edit | edit source]
An obituary is a published or unpublished death announcement. A particular obituary may be a simple two-line death notice or an elaborate biography of the deceased. Obituaries may be a good source of information about a person and may also include information about family members. Obituaries usually give the name of the deceased and the death or burial date. They often do not contain the death date and you will need to "figure it out" from other information such as the date and day of the week that the obituary was published. They may also contain information such as the birth date, marriage date, names of parents and spouse, children, occupation, education, and the location of living family members at the time the obituary was written. Obituaries are usually printed in a funeral program, a newspaper, or in a local history. And remember, in addition to the local paper in the area where the person died, obituaries are often published in newspapers in the town or towns where the person lived or grew up.
Sources for Obituaries[edit | edit source]
Obituaries have only been specifically indexed online for the past few years. You will find that obituary indexes will usually only date from the late 1960s or 1970s. However, many obituaries have been published in newspapers and the number of online collections for newspapers is growing. You may wish to see United States Newspapers.
For additional sources you might try the following:
- The Library of Congress Chronicling America, Historic American Newspapers. This site also contains the US Newspaper Directory, 1690 to Present, with the locations of the repositories of most of the newspapers published in America.
- Public Libraries links to obituary search engines in all states and the U.S. Virgin Islands and has search tips and suggestions by locality.
- Cyndi's List contains many links to obituary-related sites. Scroll down and click the topics Obituaries or Newspapers.
- Use a Google search to look for online obituaries. To do this you need to find the name of the paper in the location where you think the death took place. Websites Newpapers- USA and Worldwide and News and Newspapers Online help you see if there was a paper near the locality. Once you find the name, type the name of the location and the word newspaper or obituary.
- Many funeral homes publish obituaries on their websites. These can usually be located with a Google search on the person's name.
- FamilySearch Research Classes Online
- Local genealogical and historical societies, public libraries, and some newspaper publishers maintain clipping files of obituaries. Printed abstracts of obituaries can also be found in various published sources, such as genealogical periodicals. A bibliography of published sources is:
- Jarboe, Betty M. Obituaries: A Guide to Sources. Second Edition. Boston, Massachusetts: G. K. Hall, 1989. WorldCat 19372997FHL 973 V43 An appendix describes obituary indexes available at major libraries.
- 1980-2014 United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014 at FamilySearch — index and images
Additional Published Obituaries[edit | edit source]
The following suggestions can help you locate other published obituaries.
Other sites host large collections of obituaries arranged by geographical locations. GenealogyBuff.com has a large data library with hundreds of thousands of obituaries from varying timeframes. There are two large user-contributed obituary forums, one for the United States and the other for Canada.
An obituary index, the Obituary Daily Times (ODT), is hosted on RootsWeb. Founded in 1995, ODT has more than 13,000,000 indexed obits, and the list is increasing at the staggering rate of 2,500 a day. It is entirely supported by volunteers, numerous submitters, and a host of moderators.This free index is among the largest in the world, and searching is easy. You can also subscribe to the related Obituary Daily Times Mailing List for a regular index update. Instructions for subscribing are on the web site. As this is an ongoing project, one would want to check it periodically.
A Funeral Home may also help in locating an obituary. For assistance in locating a funeral home, Parting.com, may help in locating a particular funeral home within a given State.
The Family History Library has some obituaries. Go to the FamilySearch Catalog to find book and film numbers for them. The following instructions will help you find records for a specific locality using the Place Search:
- Go to www.familysearch.org
- Click and search for individual names
- Click FamilySearch Catalog
- Click Place Search
- Type the locality that you want to search, and click Search.
- A list of matches will appear. Click on the locality that most closely matches the one you want.
- Click Keywords search, enter Obituaries or Newspapers to view the record holdings.
For Mennonite obituaries in the U.S., visit Online index to United States Mennonite Newspaper Obituaries, starting 1864. If your family is from Pennsylvania, Illinois or many eastern states this article may be useful.
There is also a Mennonite Obituaries Index 1930-2001 online. Index is from The Mennonitische Rundschau. Index covers the world and includes the following:
• Given Name
• Maiden Name
• Birth Year
• Death Year
• Place of death
Ancestry.com (a subscription site) has good search capability for their obituary collection for the United States and Great Britain.
Search Strategies for Locating Obituaries[edit | edit source]
Because obituaries are written at or soon after the death of the person you should search under the name by which he or she would have been known at the time, i.e., search using married names for married women. When searching websites or by using Google, start with the longshot and search by first and last name (Steven Jones) you probably will not get instant results but it is well worth the time saved if you get lucky. If you do not get any returns, follow up by casting a broad net and search by surname only. Then slowly narrow the search by adding additional search terms such as first name, a nickname, or a location. You can even search by using the name of a family member that might have been mentioned in the obituary. Remember that sometimes the obituary for a married woman gives her name as "Mrs. [husband's name]" and may not even mention her first or maiden name. You might need to get creative using only initials or just a middle name - use your imagination - and use wildcards on those websites where they are permitted.
Obituaries by State[edit | edit source]
Alabama[edit | edit source]
See Alabama Obituaries.
Alaska[edit | edit source]
- ObitsArchive.com - Alaska at ObitsArchive ($)
- ObituariesHelp.org - Alaska Newspaper Obituaries Listings at ObituariesHelp.org
- Online Alaska Death Indexes, Records & Obituaries at DeathIndexes.com
- Alaska Obituary Links at The Obituary Link Page
- Alaska Obituaries at LDSGenealogy
Arizona[edit | edit source]
- 1948-2008: Arizona, Payson, Obituaries, 1948-2008 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
- 1959-2014: Arizona, Mesa LDS Family History Center, Obituary Index, 1959-2014 at FamilySearch, index; How to Use this Collection
- 1993-1993: Arizona Obituary Index to Arizona Newspapers,1993-1994 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
Arkansas[edit | edit source]
See Arkansas Obituaries.
California[edit | edit source]
- 1850-1991: California, San Joaquin, County Public Library Obituary Index, 1850-1991 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
- 1866-1992: California, Napa and Butte Counties, Obituaries, 1866-1992 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
- 1894-1979: Web: California, Berkeley Public Library Obituary Index, 1894-1979 at Ancestry ($), index
- 1928-1934: Index to Obituaries and Death Notices in the Pleasanton (California) Times, 1928-1934 by Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society
- 1974-1997: California, Fresno and Napa Counties, Obituaries, 1974-1997 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
- Alameda County Obituaries at usgarchives.net
- California Digital Newspaper Collection
Colorado[edit | edit source]
- 1970s-1990: Colorado Obituary Project 1970s-1990 at Denver Public Library
- Also includes "Sons of Colorado Index 1906-1908 (index to biographies and obituaries of Colorado pioneers)" and "Trail Index 1908-1929 (index of articles including profiles and obituaries of pioneers)"
Connecticut[edit | edit source]
Delaware[edit | edit source]
Florida[edit | edit source]
Georgia[edit | edit source]
Hawaii[edit | edit source]
- 1980-Present: Hawaii Obituaries Index, ca. 1980-present at FamilySearch
- 1900-ca.2010: Hawaii, Hawaiian Islands Newspaper Obituaries, 1900-ca.2010 at FamilySearch
- 1982-2010: Hawaii, Kauai County, Obituaries, 1982-2010 at FamilySearch
See Hawaii Obituaries.
Idaho[edit | edit source]
- 1864-2007: Idaho, Southeast Counties Obituaries, 1864-2007 at FamilySearch
- 1943-2013: Idaho, Southern Counties Obituaries, 1943-2013 at FamilySearch
See Idaho Obituaries.
Illinois[edit | edit source]
- 1970-1990: Illinois, Cook County, Obituaries, ca. 1970-1990 at FamilySearch
See Illinois Obituaries.
Indiana[edit | edit source]
- 1861-2008: Indiana, Harrison County, Index Cards to Corydon Democrat Newspaper Obituaries, 1861-2008 at FamilySearch
See Indiana Obituaries.
Iowa[edit | edit source]
- 1796-1986: Iowa, Buchanan County Obituaries and Cemetery Records, ca.1796-1988 at FamilySearch
See Iowa Obituaries.
Kansas[edit | edit source]
See Kansas Obituaries.
Kentucky[edit | edit source]
See Kentucky Obituaries.
Louisiana[edit | edit source]
See Louisiana Obituaries.
Maine[edit | edit source]
- 1911: Maine, Obituaries From Bowdoin College and The Medical School Of Maine (Published 1911) at Findmypast ($), index
Maryland[edit | edit source]
Massachusetts[edit | edit source]
Michigan[edit | edit source]
- 1820-2006: Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
Minnesota[edit | edit source]
- 1765-2006: Minnesota, Obituaries 1865-2006 at FamilySearch
- 1865-2006: Minnesota, Clay and Steele County Obituaries, 1865-2006 at FamilySearch
See Minnesota Obituaries.
Mississippi[edit | edit source]
Missouri[edit | edit source]
Montana[edit | edit source]
- 1870-2010: Montana, Mineral County Obituaries, 1870-2010 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
Nebraska[edit | edit source]
Nevada[edit | edit source]
New Hampshire[edit | edit source]
- 1800-2007: New Hampshire, Hillsborough County, Manchester, Obituaries, 1800-2007 at FamilySearch, index; How to Use this Collection
New Jersey[edit | edit source]
New Mexico[edit | edit source]
New York[edit | edit source]
- 1889: New York Times, Obituaries & Marriage Notices, 1889 at Ancestry ($), index
- Obituaries and cemetery records, Genesee, Allegany County, New York at FamilySearch, images
- Madison county obituaries (from various sources and years) at RootsWeb
- Orange County, Times Herald-Record Obituary Index at Orange County GenWeb
- Obituary notices appearing in Troy newspapers, 1797-1860 at FamilySearch, images
- Index to (select) Obituaries at Schoharie County NYGenWeb
- Obituaries from Gilboa Monitor (Schoharie) at Schoharie County NYGenWeb
- Schoharie County Republican obituary notices at FamilySearch, images
- Steuben County Obituary/Cemetery Index 1920-2007 at Steuben County Historian
- Center Moriches Obituary Index at US Gen Web
- Suffolk-Times Obituaries 1910-2003 (for Southold, Shelter Island, and Greenport) at Long Island Genealogy
- Center Moriches Record Obituary Index 1927-1934 at Long Island Genealogy
- Moriches Bay Obituary Index at US Gen Web
- Obituaries (and) marriages of Attica, New York at FamilySearch, images
North Carolina[edit | edit source]
North Dakota[edit | edit source]
- 1892-1909, 1982-1995: Fargo Forum Obituary Index at North Dakota State University
Ohio[edit | edit source]
- 1860-2004:Ohio, Crawford County Obituaries, 1860-2004 at FamilySearch
- 1884-2013:Ohio, Washington County Newspaper Obituaries, 1884-2013 at FamilySearch
See Ohio Obituaries.
Oklahoma[edit | edit source]
Oregon[edit | edit source]
- Oregon Obituaries - Genealogical Forum of Oregon ($)
- Oregon Obituaries II - Genealogical Forum of Oregon ($)
Pennsylvania[edit | edit source]
- 1914-2007: Pennsylvania, Schuylkill County, Schuylkill Haven, Funeral Home Obituary Cards, 1914-2007 at FamilySearch, index; How to Use this Collection
- 1947-2010: Pennsylvania Obituary and Marriage Collection, 1947-2010 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
- 1977-2010: Pennsylvania Obituaries, 1977-2010 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
Rhode Island[edit | edit source]
South Carolina[edit | edit source]
South Dakota[edit | edit source]
Tennessee[edit | edit source]
See Tennessee Obituaries.
Texas[edit | edit source]
See Texas Obituaries.
Utah[edit | edit source]
- 1850-2005: Utah, Obituaries from Utah Newspapers, 1850-2005 at FamilySearch
- 1959-2013: Utah, Tremonton and Garland Obituaries, 1959-2013 at FamilySearch
See Utah Obituaries.
Vermont[edit | edit source]
Virginia[edit | edit source]
- 1899-1909: Virginia, Winchester, Evening Star Obituaries, 1899-1909 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
Washington[edit | edit source]
- bef 1965: Washington Postmastser Indexes, Prior to 1965 at FamilySearch, images; How to Use this Collection
West Virginia[edit | edit source]
Wisconsin[edit | edit source]
Wyoming[edit | edit source]
- 1901-2015: Wyoming, Star Valley Independent Obituaries, 1901-2015 at FamilySearch, index and images; How to Use this Collection
District of Columbia (D.C.)[edit | edit source]